FRIDGE TEMPERATURE CHART

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Fridge temperature chart

One of the "must-haves" of every food business is a refrigerator. It is an essential appliance that can help your business prolong the shelf life of foods for an extended period and protect your customers from foodborne illnesses. The contribution and benefits that a refrigerator unit brings to your food business are invaluable regardless of the type of food service you have. The important thing when it comes to operating a fridge is to keep its optimal temperature in check at all times to keep foods cold. What your team needs is a fridge temperature chart.

The temperature of a fridge must be properly maintained to be able to protect foods from the unnecessary growth of bacteria. Your unit must have built-in digital thermometers for easier monitoring. Refrigeration not only helps slow down the growth of pathogens but also preserves the quality of foods by removing heat from the surrounding. A fridge can help your food business optimize materials and keep customers safe and satisfied. 

Learn more about the correct temperature control for food storage and how you can help your team always remember this important information.

 

What is the Fridge Temperature Chart?

A Fridge Temperature Chart is a reference guide that presents the different chiller and freezer average temperature operating ranges safe for keeping foods. This chart emphasizes the lower temperature, mostly used for long-term storage and preservation of fresh and highly perishable foods. 

A fridge temperature chart also highlights the temperature danger zone. This temperature range represents the optimal storage environment for pathogens such as harmful bacteria and viruses. Food handlers must maintain the commercial refrigeration temperature to at least 40°F or below to protect the stored foods.

Using a fridge temperature chart, food handlers can be well guided on the safe refrigerator temperature to store raw food ingredients. Additionally, this tool can also double as a Walk in cooler food storage chart as it functions similarly.

 

Why do you need to monitor the fridge's temperature?

Monitoring the actual temperature of your fridge allows food handlers to check whether the conditions are still safe for food storage. The main principle of refrigeration is that it slows down all biological processes, including the growth of bacteria, with low-temperature storage.

If the temperature of your fridge increases to the temperature danger zone, which is 40°F to 140°F, the risk of food spoilage significantly increases. If food handlers regularly monitor the temperature of your refrigerator, then they would be able to apply corrective actions immediately. They are most likely to detect any temperature fluctuations that may spoil ready-to-eat foods in your refrigerator.

As a rule of thumb, highly perishable items such as leafy greens, variety meats, raw chicken breasts, ground beef, dairy products, egg products, and fresh fruits are only advised to stay in the danger zone for a maximum time of two hours. Beyond this point, they must be disposed of.

refrigerator temperature chart

Why do you need to monitor the fridge's temperature?

Monitoring the actual temperature of your fridge allows food handlers to check whether the conditions are still safe for food storage. The main principle of refrigeration is that it slows down all biological processes, including the growth of bacteria, with low-temperature storage.

If the temperature of your fridge increases to the temperature danger zone, which is 40°F to 140°F, the risk of food spoilage significantly increases. If food handlers regularly monitor the temperature of your refrigerator, then they would be able to apply corrective actions immediately. They are most likely to detect any temperature fluctuations that may spoil ready-to-eat foods in your refrigerator.

As a rule of thumb, highly perishable items such as leafy greens, variety meats, raw chicken breasts, ground beef, dairy products, egg products, and fresh fruits are only advised to stay in the danger zone for a maximum time of two hours. Beyond this point, they must be disposed of.

 

What will happen if you don't monitor your fridge's temperature properly?

Improper monitoring can lead to two unfavorable outcomes -  spoilage of foods or deterioration of quality due to over freezing. 

If your refrigerator thermometer or freezer thermometer is not properly calibrated and your fridge temp readings are inaccurate, your food items are at risk of spoilage. If foods stay for too long in the temperature danger zone, pathogenic bacterial growth may occur and start to spoil the food. Warmer temps may increase the risk of causing foodborne illnesses to your customers.

Another problem that may arise with improper monitoring of the fridge's temperature. Although this is less likely for refrigerated food, when the average fridge temperature is too low, the chance of causing fridge burn increases significantly. Additionally, large and disruptive ice crystals may form on foods, negatively affecting your food's texture, such as in raw meat or any fruit.

 

Who needs a  Fridge temperature chart?

All food establishments will benefit from a fridge temperature chart poster. Any food business will most likely use a refrigerator and freezer. Therefore, food handlers will require orientation and training. You can use our refrigerator temperature chart to introduce the different temperature ranges for storing foods and their significant effects on your products. 

Whether your food establishment is classified as a food truck, a restaurant, a retail store, a deli shop, or even a cafeteria, you will be required to have a refrigerator to keep your foods fresh and safe. 

 

What are the benefits of a Fridge temperature chart?

A fridge temperature chart can become a significant part of your food safety management system. It is an essential food safety document that can remind food handlers of the ideal temperatures inside a fridge to keep food cold and safe. 

More specifically, a fridge temperature chart offers the following benefits to help keep food safe:

  • Reminder. The main benefit of this cold storage chart is that when placed at the right spot, food handlers can be reminded of the ideal refrigerator temperature needed to keep fresh food. It also helps remind your employees to check the appliance thermometer and prevent the temperature from rising to the danger zone and producing spoiled foods. A fridge temperature chart contains the proper temperatures for keeping frozen food, chilled food, and even hot held food that will prevent the growth of microorganisms.

  • Cost-saving. When foods are consistently stored at an adequate temperature, less food waste will likely be produced. This means that your team will be able to optimize the resources you have and turn them into profit without the risk of causing any foodborne illness. 

  • Food safety. When food handlers maintain a consistent temperature control and storage times for keeping cold foods, the risk of causing foodborne illnesses is significantly reduced. Paired with other proper food handling practices and simple rules such as proper refrigerator organization and keeping foods in shallow containers, the risk of contamination and growth of spoilage bacteria can be prevented and controlled. 

  • Employee training. This fridge temperature chart can be used as training material for orienting food handlers on the proper internal temperature of foods. This material can also be an avenue to introduce the negative effects of keeping highly perishable foods at ambient temperature for too long.

The effectiveness of a fridge temperature chart can be further optimized by pairing it with other food safety documents such as a temperature log sheet. Use this monitoring form to record accurate temperature readings of your refrigerator and track whether your foods are still safe from spoilage or not.

Check out our HACCP plan template hub for more useful and free food safety tools and documents.

 

Need more help in understanding the presented topic? Here are a few frequently asked questions about cold temperature storage:

Is a fridge colder on 1 or 5?

Whether Celsius or Fahrenheit, a fridge temperature is colder when the value is closer to 0.

What is the correct temperature for a fridge?

A refrigerator must maintain a proper temperature reading of 40°F or below to keep batches of food items safe from pathogenic bacteria and unwanted biological changes.

What is a safe temperature for a refrigerator?

The safe temperature for a refrigerator is at 40°F or below. This temperature can keep foods safe for a longer time. To keep this temperature consistent, monitoring must always be performed.

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How to help my team monitor the fridge's temperature properly?

Monitoring the temperature of your refrigerator is a 24/7 job. It has to be consistently done throughout your operations to become effective. The operation must also be performed correctly to ensure that foods stored in your refrigerator will not cause food poisoning to your consumers and put your food establishment at risk of closing.

One solution that you may use is to download and print our Fridge Temperature Chart and use it as a visual reminder for your employees. Place it in the most obvious location in your kitchen to help remind employees of the correct temperature for storing foods in the fridge.

A visual tool such as our chart for storage can help your employees remember important tasks such as monitoring the temperature of your fridge. Although, what if there was a more innovative and effective way to remind your employees while improving your food safety efficiency?

With our digital solution at FoodDocs, you can ensure that your team will always monitor your fridge temperature. Frequency of checking is one thing, but our digital solution can help maintain the accuracy of your recordings.

When you use our digital solution, you can get the following benefits:

  • Our mobile application includes a smart notification program that alerts food handlers of upcoming tasks, such as when to monitor your fridge temperature. Using this feature, you will never forget to accurately monitor your refrigerators' temperature.

  • Our system can automatically generate monitoring forms for you, such as our Fridge temperature log, which you can use to monitor and maintain the temperature of your refrigerator. 

  • Digital forms are equipped with an auto-fill feature that automatically prefills the forms for you. All that is left is for your employees to verify the information.

safe refrigerator temperature

In addition to helping food handlers perform food safety tasks, our digital Food Safety Management System can also help managers make their operations more effective:

  • Setting up our digital FSMS will only take an average of 15 minutes. The process will only require you to answer a few basic questions describing your operations to our system.

  • This Fridge Temperature Log also come with detailed instructions on how to perform correctly monitor fridge and freezer temperatures. Using this feature, your onboarding process and food safety training for measuring fridge temperature can be easier.

  • Our digital solution comes with a real-time dashboard that will give you an overview of your everyday operations. With this feature, you can save 20% of your time supervising your team. Easily identify areas that need more attention and stay up-to-date with your food safety status at all times, even remotely.

  • You will get digital cloud storage where you can file and organize all digital information. Secure all your food safety documents and save time as you can easily access everything from one place. 

When you use our digital solution, you also contribute to the environment by becoming more sustainable as you leave behind your paper monitoring forms. In addition to these benefits, our digital solution can be further improved as it accommodates customizations. 

With our digital solution, you can always ensure that your stored foods and the dishes you serve are always fresh and safe for consumption. Maintain food safety compliance using our digital Food Safety Management System. 

You can experience all of these benefits firsthand when you signup for our free, 14-day trial now.

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